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Tess Swallow: t4 Nanny Director

Meet the woman who started one of the most popular childcare services in the Alps

Featured in: | Ellie Mahoney, Courchevel Editor | Published

Sometimes things just happen for a reason, like the need for a part time job to support you through your ski instructor training, which leads you to spotting a niche in the market and creating a new business on the back of it, and a successful one at that.

Tell us a little bit about your business, how it started out and where you're based...

My name is Tess and I live in the French Alps all year round with my Husband and my 2 year old Daughter.  I own t4 Private Nanny Service and am also a fully qualified ski instructor with New Generationt4 Nanny started in Val d'Isere when I was training to be a ski instructor. I decided to train for my exams and look after children in the holiday times. That season I passed all of my exams and saw there was a big demand for high quality childcare. The following season I employed 2 nannies and t4 was born. 

How long have you been in your current role and how long have you been with the company?

We started in 2005/06 with just me in 1 resort and we are now in 5 resorts with 16 nannies and 2 office staff. 

What makes this resort a special place to be for someone in your profession?

Ski resorts are magical places for children, it is so exciting. With so much to do from sledging and skiing to husky rides and swimming we are never short of adventures and activities to take the children on.

What are the best bits about your job?

When looking after children you essentially get to play all day and that has to be the best part.   

And the worst bits?

Carrying 3 pairs of kids skis back to the chalet after ski school with 3 very tired and hungry children can be a challenge, but there is generally a way to make it fun or I just make sure I have got plenty of snacks to get them back! 

What is in store for the future with your business, any exciting projects in the pipelines that you can share with us?

We have been growing year on year. Our families tell us which resorts they would like to see us in next, so watch this space...!

What are you personal and professional goals for the future?

Personally I am loving raising my family in the Alps and look forward to seeing my 2 year old get properly skiing this winter. Professionally I aim to keep delivering the best childcare service.

What's your favourite piste?

Park City. 

Where would send someone who was after that something 'something special' in resort, to stay, eat or drink?

Chabotte at Hotel Chabichou in 1850.

Where will we find the best coffee or hot chocolate?

Boulotte in 1650 

Do you remember your first trip to this resort?

I arrived for a weeks holiday in Courchevel 1650 (Moriond) and ended up not going home and getting a job as a chalet girl! I had an amazing season and decided that ski resort life was for me! 

What's your favourite thing to do in resort when not skiing or snowboarding?

Snowshoeing or ice skating are really fun things to do with friends.

What do you do in the summer?

I love rock climbing around here and the via ferrata. Mostly I love having lunch on a sunny terrace and watching the world go by!

Where are we most likely to find you for après-ski?!

L'Escourvevel in Le Praz.

Skiing or snowboarding? What's your preference & why?

I have been skiing since I was 5 years old and it is without doubt my passion. I do like to snowboard but for me it still is not a patch on skiing.

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If you're looking for childcare in Courchevel then get in touch with the local t4 Nanny team.